On April 22, the City of Surrey will be hosting the 10th annual “Party for the Planet” Earth Day event via Facebook and YouTube Live. The free event will take place from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will feature local talent and Indigenous performances.
The online event will include arts and crafts, photobooths, scavenger hunts, educational workshops, and children’s yoga. Viewers will also be able to purchase treelings for $20 from the Surrey city website.
This year marks the 11th year of the community initiative, though it will be celebrated as the 10th anniversary due to the COVID-19 cancellation of 2020.
“The Parks Department wanted to embark on a large-scale celebration to showcase all the different environmental initiatives that the city was embarking on,” says project manager Jenna Kuzemski.
“The main objective is to educate residents and viewers on educational program services that the city is offering, as well as to empower people to make small changes in their life. To change their daily habits to try to live more sustainably and decrease their carbon footprint,” she says.
The City of Surrey contracted MRG Events to facilitate the event with Surrey and Lower Mainland artists. Sponsors include TD Bank, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and several media sponsors, including local radio stations.
“Some of the sponsors contributed financially. Some of them are community partners, and then some of them are media partners,” says Kuzemski. “We really, really couldn’t produce any of our events without support from them.”
One of the event’s artists, Jordan Klassen, will be performing his song “Recycle Me”.
“I think just the more we talk about this, the more we make it normal to be to just talk about how important the environment is and how important it is that we start getting things under control with climate change, the more that’s just in the public psyche, I think the better off we are,” says Klassen.
Klassen says he hopes that community events like this will highlight the importance of caring for the planet.
Another performance by Teon Gibbs and IAMTHELIVING will be showcasing their hip-hop and R&B song “Between the Groove” for audiences. To reduce his carbon footprint, Gibbs says he sticks to a vegetarian diet for five days a week, and says that the “simple things” individuals can do all help to reduce climate change.
“I hope we can just bring some happiness and a little bit of fun,” says Gibbs. “And I just imagined like a family of four children at home watching it, like ‘that was a really good performance.’”
Andrea Menard, a Metis singer, will be performing her piece “Silent No More” which she composed to accompany her TedTalk on violence against women.
“From our teachings, when we go to harm the Earth, it means you also harm the women on this planet. They go together because they represent the feminine, and we have a lot of work to do in healing that,” says Menard.
“We can be silent no more.”